Ireland Baldwin is sorry you’re offended by her Native American Halloween costume

Ireland Baldwin

For real, Halloween costumes bring out the racist in all of us. This year’s discomfort started with Julianne Hough doing blackface and continued with some very terrible people dressing up as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. That last example is extremely heinous in comparison to Julianne’s mere “ignorance,” that moved her to wear on blackface as one of her favorite tv characters. What a mess.

Now Ireland Baldwin finds herself in a bit of pickle as well. Ireland posted some Instagram photos of herself in a Native American costume. As you can imagine, this did not go over well. Ireland issued a sort-of apology. She’s sorry if you took it the wrong way:

Sigh. By now, people should realize that dressing up as someone else’s culture isn’t the most sensitive move. Ireland does have some Cherokee blood, but she didn’t grow up in the culture. She never lived on a reservation or had to deal with any discrimination or hardships as a result of her Cherokee heritage. Ireland claims to have been dressing up as a Disney character (the chief from Peter Pan), but she should have known better than to pick a character that is little more than a racist caricature. I’m sure she didn’t pick her costume with malice, but her defensiveness and “sorry if you’re offended” faux-apology doesn’t win her any points for trying.

On a slightly brighter note, Ireland just turned 18 last Thursday. Alec sent her flowers, and Ireland posted a photo of the bouquet to Twitter.

Ireland Baldwin

Ireland Baldwin

Photos courtesy of Ireland Baldwin on Instagram, Fame/Flynet & WENN

 

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279 Responses to “Ireland Baldwin is sorry you’re offended by her Native American Halloween costume”

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  1. Frida_K says:

    She’s not that pretty and this little contretemps makes her even less so.

    • MCraw says:

      I don’t know what her looks have anything to do with this story. Your comment is part of the problem women have with each other and their own insecurities.

      As for the topic… I stayed on a reservation in Montana in high school. I was surprised by many people who looked white, like Ireland, who were natives. The fact of the matter is, there was a holocaust in this country that annihilated an entire group of people. There will be no “pure” NA person in two more generations. Many people in this country have Native lineage. Ireland didn’t paint her skin a different color. She didn’t go around saying things that mock the culture. She didn’t even say “I’m sorry you got offended” she said “I’m sorry my costume offended you personally”, which I think is different and better than the former. I think NA culture is beautiful, how can someone honor it without dressing up and without offending people?

      • Mirna says:

        I don’t get it, either. She didn’t paint herself; she donned “war paint”, which Native Americans did. I think we’re turning into a nation of overly politically correct, overly sensitive whiners. And this is coming from a Black Latina woman.

      • Joana says:

        “I think we’re turning into a nation of overly politically correct, overly sensitive whiners.” This times a thousand!

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        “I think we’re turning into a nation of overly politically correct, overly sensitive whiners.”
        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • SAHARA CHAN says:

        It’s wonderful be privileged enough to tell other cultures what is or isn’t offensive to them eh? Bottomline if you are wearing BLACKFACE, BROWNFACE, TRIBAL COSTUMES, ETC for Halloween, this isn’t how you dress up to honor them, It’s how you dress up as a racist!

        SO you are saying D&G head in awful Blackface is cool? The Trayvon Martin costumes and in Blackface to boot is funny? I am not a PC fanatic however there must be some boundaries set no? Don’t you people know HISTORY and see how it would be offensive for a black, brown, or Jewish person to see someone in Blackface, KKK outfits, Hitler, Saris, Seikh Headgear, Tribal headpieces? How hard is that?

        And to the more clueless folks who complain that people have called them Honkey or Crakka, please explain where in history a white person has been Lynched with a colored Mob screaming Honkey while they ate lunch? There is a reason why things are put in context. Some people just love living in their little bubble.. Live on and ignore things if it makes you a more functioning enabler.

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        @Sahara Chan

        Careful. You’re going to offend me with her lack of sensitivity when it comes to the terms ‘honkey’ and ‘crakka’. Since it’s a derogative way to describe us white people it is offensive. If it’s meant to offend it’s offensive. You’re walking a fine line of proving my and other comments correct of ignorance when it comes to racism. You are aware that the white race isn’t as well off in other parts of the world compared to the US? And if someone of a more populated race decided to spout off at the mouth with your ignorant terms you decided to mention then it would be considered racist? Did you know it’s even racist here in the US to address whites as that- well some it depends I do suppose. Did you know it’s racist to call any race a name that is oppressive and meant to cause emotional distress or harm?

        Now the blackface was ignorance on that woman’s part and used as a clear ploy to gain attention from the mass public given her lacking career. I grew up in the South so I’m pretty aware of what one does that is racist and what one does while thinking with their head up their ass. The girl above didn’t think ‘Oh, I’m going to deliberately be hateful to Native Americans and the hardships they’ve gone through by wearing greasepaint and feathers’. It was clearly an easy costume as she’s lazy and didn’t want to put much effort into her idea other wise you’d see so much more. Let’s not forget Chris Brown dressing up as Osama last year. What about Miley as Lil’ Kim this year? Is that racist to you or is it not because she didn’t darken her skintone? Did the Judge of the OJ trail let him off in fear of being labeled as a racist?

        There are BIGGER more IMPORTANT actual events of racism that do not involve a rich girl with feathers in her hair. Why not look at Barneys in NY instead? Two people of color were stopped after purchasing an expensive item because the workers told security they thought their cards were fraudulent just based on their race. And people are getting upset by a girl’s choice in Halloween costume. And people wonder why racism is so large even today. Focus on crap that has no meaning but dismiss actual counts of racism so that the ones making the offense get to continue doing what they do in terms of hatred.

      • OGmutha says:

        @Mirna & Dommy Dearest and everyone complaining about those darned sensitive people… Sometimes being politically correct is actually just CORRECT. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if it’s something someone gets persecuted, discriminated or oppressed for that they can’t take off–ie skin color, strong ethnic identifiers, facial features, etc–don’t be an insensitive ass and wear that as a “costume.” I don’t think that’s whiny, I think that’s being mature and respectful of history–others’ as well as your own. It’s like people can’t think of a million other costumes to wear? Then isn’t the real travesty lack of imagination??

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        Sometimes being politically correct is not correct. No one is being persecuted or oppressed. If a child wore an indian outfit is that racist? Is playing cowboys and indians a racist game for children that we all played at some point in life? What about all the stereotypes that people make fun off constantly such as Kool-Aid, watermelon and fried chicken? Or that whites rules anything and everything? Uh yeah no that’s banks and corporations as well as the media wanting exactly what’s happening here to happen. Arguments over a costume while EVERYONE is being oppressed- or at least the working class. Why aren’t we concerned with our poverty, what’s being put into our food (GMO hello?), why the NSA is allowed to view our data and invade our privacy, what about the Affordable Healthcare Act and it’s expensive premiums? What about actual racism that isn’t a costume that kids have been wearing for the longest time? So because you’re an adult you forfeit the right to dress up on the one day out of the year? Well where is this pompous list that states what to wear and what not to wear? If costumes get you upset I’d hate to know that the regular everyday wear of tweens and teenagers is completely alright with you. Why aren’t more people upset with the sexualization of children in media and clothes venues? Oh wait because that would either fall under one (and it’s only ever one) category: The parents don’t care. And they obviously don’t care about anyone else because any and all Halloween costumes that are based on a race of people is racist and meant to offend rather than just enjoying the holiday one day out of the entire year. Clearly all parents are racist if you chose to dress your child up in Indian gear.

        Why wasn’t there an actual apology given by Miley back in 09 after she pulled her eyes slanted? The Asian community came forward and voice their hurt feelings but most everyone was ‘I don’t see the big deal, I did that when I was a kid’. What about Rihanna just the other week and her little photo session? That was offensive and yet everyone talked about it for a day and then nothing, not even an apology. Hypocrisy.

        Pffft.

      • connie says:

        @dommy dearest

        *swoon*you stated everything so well and articulately. I really love how you touched upon parents and not caring about what their children wear and people getting all up in arms about costumes and trivial pc things but not important matters.

        Also, upthread… I think it’s hard to compare this costume to hitler, the KKK or other oppressive parties.. Racism is finding yourself superior to others based on race alone. Insensitive? I guess that could be argued…(I would disagree) but I don’t see how her putting on a headdress and war paint has any similarities to dressing up in Klans-wear or how it could build a case that she is insensitive or holds herself above people of other race

    • Angel says:

      Does anyone ever NOT get offended by something? This is getting ridiculous.

      • lylaooo says:

        yess.. its so ridiculous… im mexican and americans make fun off us (like all the time), sometimes its vey rude and sometimes we make fun off us as well..
        people think that we wear big sombreros and we have darker skin and stuff and its not the case..if you know me ..i have green eyes and blond hair and freckles
        i find very weird that people are just trying to find any excuse to criticize everybody.

        so i don´t find her costume offensive at all, kids dreess up like this. maybe she likes this culture and its a way to show some admiration…people do that too right?

      • Kelly says:

        You are spot on! It’s so ridiculous.

      • Angel says:

        I hear “honky” and “cracker” and “white b*tch” used constantly as derogatory terms and no one gets upset about that, but any white person DARES make any reference to another race or wear a costume like this and it’s automatically labeled hate or racism or offensive. Just because white people were at the top of the food chain and did some heinous stuff, we all have to suffer for our ancestors’ power trips? THAT is racism, hating white people bc of things we have nothing to do with.

      • karmasabiatch! says:

        Yeah, I’m getting more than a bit tired of the fact that if I disagree with a any person of colour, and their speech, policies or character, I am instantly tagged as “racist”. That’s BS. Racism as the new go-to in disagreements is already getting pretty old. Can we please just move past this trend?

      • MCraw says:

        Angel, Karma: “white people were at the top of the food chain” “racism as the new go to in disagreements… Trend needs to end.”

        I really don’t know what to think or respond to either of your statements. Whites are STILL at the “top of the food chain”, if that’s the term we’re using, and it’s palpably evident everywhere we look. Civil rights was very real and very recent. Our politics have gotten insane because our president is black, even though in the eyes of our gov’t, on paper, he’s white (government personnel race is determined by the race of the mother). While I personally don’t think what Ireland did is offensive… I’m side-eyeing both of your comments. It’s a little too flippant and defiant for my taste. And that type of attitude is what allows racism to continue, FYI.

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        Actually we the ‘Whites’ jumped on Spain’s band wagon if we’re talking about slavery. Racism continuing to be taught is what continues it. Using the race card is what continues it. By identifying this happened or that happened because of race first instead of other possibilities (Brown saying the DA was racist instead of it actually being his offenses for example). Which in the end just gives it an excuse to redirect the problem to another thing than what it actually is. Now granted there are actual offenses of racism as I mentioned in my comment way below but no one is hearing about that. Instead we’re focusing on a Halloween costume than actually addressing real acts of racism and further allowing those in the wrong to continue without penalty.

      • bobbiesue says:

        +1000000
        What is so incredibly annoying and obvious, if we think about it for a nano-second, is people are grossly racist and bigoted on a daily basis. We over-hear it in public venues, we even hear friends do it…we see it in movies and on tv shows and in ads. But, one day out of the year, for a few hours people dress up and suddenly half of the blogosphere and penny-ante media start screaming about non-celebrities being offensive? Have you seen the majority of costumes kids wear? There’s no mal-intent and this is wayyyyy overboard. If a child is dressed as Aladdin or Pocahontas do you scream at him/her that they are racist?? Or do you blame Disney?Ummmm

    • SAHARA CHAN says:

      Dommy Dearest,

      I am not saying Honkey or crakka are not offensive and should be used. I am saying not in the same context. If the N word wasn’t used when humiliating, slaughtering people, then I truly wouldn’t care. I also don’t like the fact that these teenagers think it’s cool. My point is if you understand the the historical context of blackface, you would know it is not funny and not okay. As for this girl, I am merely responding to the people who were acting like when people use blackface and ethnic costumes, like they shouldn’t be mad. And your points are duly noted.

  2. Maria says:

    She is her father’s child.

  3. Amanda says:

    I guess she’s never heard the term “Cherokee princess”

    • Cazzee says:

      Was just going to say the same thing! Cherokee is the “I’m Indian! I’m Indian! I have no records or documents, but I’m Indian!” ethnicity – this was explained to me by a friend who is Penobscot and grew up on the reservation. He said when he got to college and went to the Native American students group he was stunned by the large number of white girls claiming that their “grandmother was a Cherokee princess”. LOL. Ridiculous.

      • Erinn says:

        I agree with this, though we found out that my fiancee is both wampanoag and I think mi’kmaq. If his grandmother moved to Massachusetts, they’d build her a home on the reservation and essentially make sure she was taken care of. I don’t remember what percentage he is, but I think it’s both sides of his family.

        Anyway, he is darker skinned, dark hair, hazel eyes. His sister is much more fair, blue eyes, and blonde hair. She has the exact same percentage as he does, but really has no physical characteristics that could seem native.

      • itstrue says:

        I am a fair skinned native. And it’s completely unfair to say that I am less than someone of darker skin. My heritage is what it is, and my family was uprooted and moved to Oklahoma against their will. I’m more offended by these statements than someone wearing a headdress.

      • BooBooLaRue says:

        Yup wish I had a dime for everyone who ever told me they were Cherokee.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Well to be fair, a lot of people don’t really know their actual Native American heritage–what tribe they’re from. I’m 1/16th Native American–which I know isn’t a lot, but I’m proud of it and wish I could know more. My grandmother, who is 1/4th Native American, grew up in a time where Native American’s were treated worse than black people (she grew up during the Great Depression). When she was a kid and younger, anytime any NA had even the slightest bit of tinge to their skin, they would say (to the census taker) that they were “mulatto”. That’s what my great grandmother is registered as, even though she was half Native American. My mom had just recently went through our family tree, because all our lives we’ve been told that we’re part NA, but on the official records it says that my great grandma was a mulatto, and then she found out that they would lie.

      • bluhare says:

        Piggy backing on the native ancestry stories. I’ve done genealogy research into both my and my husband’s ancestors. His grandfather was from Nova Scotia and was Acadian or so we thought. Well, after further research we found that he probably qualifies for membership in a micq macq (hope I spelt it right!) nation in Nova Scotia. Apparently, people with his mother’s maiden name have micq macq ancestry. Apparently, when the French settlers arrived in Nova Scotia, some of them got quite friendly with the native population, and there were intermarriages. A lot of people (who could) would self identify as Acadian to avoid the discrimination that came with being part of the micq macq nation. I mean, some birth certificates marked people as “sauvage”; I’ve seen them. So my husband is probably almost 1/4 native American, and we never knew.

      • Meaghan says:

        Its mi’kmaq, but pretty close blu. You only get status if your’re 50%, though they used to give status to a white person if they married a full-blood native back in the day. So if that was the case he could get a treaty card. Tons of free/cheap stuff and more job opportunities, scholarships etc if that is the case.

        Its so weird how different American perceptions of Indians are compared to Canada. And all the Indiands fled to Canada so they didn’t get murdered. We have a HUGE native population in Canada.

        On another note, I think people are being stupidly ridiculous. Everything is offensive nowadays. There is nothing offensive about her costume whatsoever. Is dressing as Pocahontas offensive? Better not go as a little mermaid, its offensive to sea creatures throughout the world.

      • bluhare says:

        Oops, sorry Meaghan. His membership would be with the Bras D’Or people in Nova Scotia and I think they do have some sort of membership which doesn’t confer the treaty card. It’s because they’re trying to figure how many Acadians out there are actually part of the Bras D’Or people. We have contacted them but never heard back. This thread has prompted me to follow up!

      • nicegirl says:

        Here’s MY wish, for all it’s worth.

        I wish Y’ALL who are shading folks ( I read “white” and “if I had a dime for” comments, etc. above) for claiming Cherokee heritage (in any percentage whatsoever) would STFU.

        SEVERE.

        As a (“white”) descendant of a Cherokee woman myself, I’m rather offended. How can you tell by my looks that I am not of Native American blood? Why do my physical characteristics make me a less worthy a member of a group? And why is it that it is COOL for some folks to throw shade at us “white” (or those of us who LOOK PRIMARILY WHITE – who may or may not personally identify with being mostly Caucasian – but are labeled as “white” by society at large)? And why are we not supposed to also feel marginalized, due to others’ judgment of our value? I know as a “white girl” my opinion on racial issues is not weighed as heavily as someone from a different group, generally speaking, but I actually value myself, my opinions and my experiences as much as I value those of another. Go figure.

        RUDE, folks. It’s just rude. It is not right either way. Just because “whites are at the top of the food chain” is not an excuse to invalidate individuals who identify with more than one group. It is astounding that this is not applied to everyone. I get that it is easier sometimes to tell a persons descent when their bodies have general telltale signs associated with one group or another, but many of us are melting pot people, right? Who of us is a purebred? Whatever happened to DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER?

  4. boredbrit says:

    whoa. she’s only just turned 18?! thought she was in her mid twenties… at least.

  5. ANDREA1 says:

    Like I said on the link of yesterday I never understood the hype for this girl she is just average looking nothing special about her. I am going to cut her some slack because she is just 18 but she does need to grow up….

  6. bns says:

    I hate it when people say “sorry if you’re offended.” It’s just so insincere.

  7. Buckwild says:

    As long as it’s an option at a Halloween store, that means no need to use your own logic or value system right? **rolls eyes

    She is getting on my nerves, I tolerated her attempts to “model” but she needs to get a PR rep to stop her from revealing the Baldwin in her.

    • V4Real says:

      Are people serious? That costume was not racist at all. It’s not like she painted her face darker. Was it racist for Johnny Depp to play an Indian in the Lone Ranger.

      One thing I have noticed is that we tend to jump all over the celebrities we dislike on this site even when they’ve done nothing wrong. I bet if this was Angie Jolie wearing the same costume people would run to her defense. I’m not a fan of Ireland but her costume is not offensive at all and I have native ancestry in my family as well.

      • LL says:

        Just b/c its not offensive to you doesn’t mean it not offensive. Majority if not most American Indians outfits are racists. Especially if is involve the headdress, like Ireland is wearing, is even worst.

      • V4Real says:

        So why not go a step further and say the people she purchased it from is racist for selling it in their store. Why not say the Movie Thd Lone Ranger was racist. It’s like you said just because I don’t find it offensive doesn’t mean others don’t. On the other hand just because you find it offensive doesn’t mean that other’s do. It all seems to be a matter of opinion doesn’t it?

        BTW have you ever been to a Pow Wow, well I have. The Native Americans sell their head dresses as well as many other native items. Do you think they sell you their jewelry but then turn around and say oh but you can’t wear it because that would be offensive.

      • msw says:

        People get upset about stereotypes because stereotypes are often used to degrade or dehumanize minorities. You may not feel that it is ok for people to get upset about it, but it isn’t necessarily because people are looking for a fight.

        Cultural appropriation is also a sensitive issue here, and that is an issue particularly affecting Native Americans, with people celebrating their “Indian heritage” becuase it’s cool and picking off parts of the culture they want, while ignoring or outright disrespecting other parts. I’m sure you know about that already.

      • LL says:

        So your logic is since some Native American sell headdresses than it must okay for anyone to wear them. That’s like saying since some black people say the N-word than it okay for others (especially non-blacks) to use it. The outfit she’s wearing and the many outfits like it are offensive especially headdresses.

        Just like with the blackface, if some people who are black are not offended than I or others shouldn’t? That’s the logic you are using and its ridiculous. I rather you say that if you want to wear a American Indian outfit, you’ll wear regardless of what others say.

      • lower-case deb says:

        fortunately (or unfortunately for some) no one will need to run, jump or maim on Jolie’s defense because she doesn’t seem like someone to do something as this. her partner once dressed as Yo Gabba Gabba without the need to blackface, so i think this measure of understanding translates to her as well.

      • cs says:

        At least she didn’t paint her face red. it’s not as offensive as Julianne Hough. btw, Johnny Depp is part native American.
        Why bring up Angelina Jolie? what does she have to do with this?

      • V4Real says:

        @Cs if you read the entire post I said that we tend to jump all over the celebs we don’t like but we often defend the ones we adore. Jolie was mentioned b/c she’s one of the few celebs that if anyone dare say a bad word about people rush to her defense as you can already see from the mere mention of her name. So I said if this was Angie wearing it people probably wouldn’t have much to say. I know that JD is part native but so is Ireland Baldwin so she says. So now what?

      • cs says:

        @Vreal

        I was agreeing with you about Ireland. I didn’t see anything wrong with her costume. As I stated, she didn’t paint her face red. Then I would have a problem.
        I just questioned inputting Angelina in the argument. Got your point..

      • Stacey says:

        @LL

        Thank you for your posts!

        Just look at the Washington Redskins name controversy – can you imagine if red were substituted with black or yellow or brown???

        Would NEVER happen.

      • lena80 says:

        Johnny Depp THINKS he is part Native American and embraces that unknown while having VERIFIED African Ancestry that he NEVER talks about…go figure. And yes, it’s online…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Key_Grinstead

    • Bubbles says:

      I’m glad I’m reading this site, because I’m learning so much. I have a question, though? Can something that is considered racist in America not be racist in Europe? I’ve seen loads and loads of people dressing as Native Americans, it’s even common for little kids. I also don’t think a blackface would be considered racist here. Can it be that, because we didn’t do to black and Native American people what the US has, those things aren’t racist?

      • aang says:

        I found many Europeans to a be fascinated by my native heratige. They seemed to have a genuine interest and respect. In Ireland I had many interesting conversations about the similarity between the Irish and Native Amercians.

      • msw says:

        Bubbles, yes, I think so. a lot of our ideas of racism come from our history. The blackface thing is a good example. There is nothing inherently racist, in my opinion, about wearing facepaint, but there is a really disturbing history behind the practice that reminds many of us of a very racist period of time in our country. Many people also feel it crosses a line to turn race into a costume, and I certainly won’t tell them they are wrong.

        There is also, as I’m sure you know, a history of genocide against Native Americans on our entire continent, as well as ongoing issues of cultural appropriation. So not only did we steal from, enslave, forcibly relocate, abuse/rape and murder a few million Native Americans, we decided that we actually liked some things about their culture after all (to the point where people often romanticize about their mostly non existant Native cultures, Cherokees especially), borrow their traditions without really doing them in a sensitive and respectful way (sweat lodges and other cultural cleansing rituals, etc). and dress up as them for Halloween, because we haven’t objectified them enough already with mass genocide. It’s gross.

        TLDR: there are some practices that I think are universally racist, but a lot of things may not appear racist in isolation but have a history of oppression or dehumanization behind them.

      • rosalee says:

        I was an AP on the documentary “If I Were an Indian” produced by the NFB – the Europeans who practise First Nations Culture, are respectful of our heritage, a number of them speak various languages such as Ojibway, Lakota, and Cree – they learned the ceremonies by a number of traditional Elders. The majority I met would be horrified to by the mass marketing of our designs, our traditions and our ceremonial wear. I find it a convenient defence to claim Aboriginal heritage, as used by Jessica Simpson and now Ireland Baldwin to excuse themselves for their obvious lack of knowledge. As for Jolie, nope, she’s much too worldly and knowledgeable to ever slap on a head dress for Halloween. It is simply offensive and there is no valid no excuse for it

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I think Europe wrote the book on doing stuff to Native Americans and blacks, all else is just fallout.

    • V4Real says:

      @ LL Oh spare me the logic schtick already. If you’re going to try and incite an argument with me make sure you are accusing me of something I actually said. I didn’t say anywhere in my comments that people shouldn’t be offended. I stated my opinion that it wasn’t racist or offensive to me. I did however say it’s a matter of opinion. There is a difference when people who are non black say the N Word when compared to Native Americans selling their products to non natives. That’s not the same and not a good comparison. If Baldwin had painted her face dark then I might have a problem.

      I will say it again in case you didn”t understand me the first time. IMO I didn’t find it racist or offensive. I never told anyone else how to feel. BTW this is coming from a woman of color whom great grandfather was 100% Cheeroke. So yes I would wear a headdress if I wanted to. But then again this isn’t about me even though that’s how you’re trying to play it, it’s about I. Baldwin I believe.

      One last thing should every white person that dresses as a cowboy or a soilder from that era be labeled a racist as well?

      • Mirna says:

        I agree V4Real. If that’s the case, we really can’t dress up as anything for Halloween, can we? My son is wearing a ninja costume today. I hope someone at his school doesn’t get offended and say we’re mocking the Asian culture …

      • V4Real says:

        Finally someone who gets it. Look I know the history and the genocide that @msw speaks about but they are only looking at one side of the coin. If a celeb was dressed as a cowboy or any soldier from the era of that genocide I bet they wouldn’t have even took noticed. Therefore they are saying it’s offensive to dress like a person who had genocide committed upon them but it’s acceptable to dress up as the people who committed the genocide. Where’s the logic in that?

        Where do we draw the line on what’s racist/offensive or not? Like I said earlier it’s just a matter of opinions and opinions wouldn’t hold up in a court of law.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Maybe we could dress up as our own race and not try on another human’s skin tone as a costume just because it’s fun for us, and they shouldn’t be so over sensitive anyway, amiright?

        The problem here is it simply feels bad to see someone dressing as YOU for a costume, especially when your family was massacred and enslaved by said costume wearer’s familiy. I don’t get why some white people feel oppressed and resentful when they get criticized for being insensitive, race appropriating, entitled jerks. Why is lacking empathy considered logical?

        Not every cowboy was an ‘Indian killer’; some drove cattle, and some settled the land that was stolen from our indigenous people. Regardless, dressing up as your own race, but NOT as an individual who committed heinous acts like, say, a Jeffrey Dahmer, presents plenty of imaginative, non hurtful, Halloween costumes. It bears repeating, why the insistence to have the freedom to appropriate another person’s skin?

        This is coming from someone who as a child dressed up as a gypsy for Halloween. I like to think I know better now. Let’s hope Ireland grows up too.

      • V4Real says:

        Well just like all Cowboys didn’t harm Natives, neither did Ireland. Come on with this only wear costumes that represents your own race, thats just as worse. She wasn’t wearing their skin color just the clothing of their culture. I saw Black, White &; Hispanics dressed as Natives today and those children were not being offensive. In Thanksgiving plays in school some kids dressed as Pilgrims and others as Native Americans I guess people would have a problem with that as well. I guess Miley shouldn’t have dressed as Nicki M last Halloween because Nicki is Black and Miley is White b/c that’s offensive to Blacks. Jeez what yall think about people dressing as Nuns for Halloween, I guess that’s offensive to the Catholic Church.

      • Sloane W.yatt says:

        “Jeez what yall think about people dressing as Nuns for Halloween, I guess that’s offensive to the Catholic Church.” – V4real

        IMO, adults dressed as revered religious figures on Halloween, well, that’s just another kettle of offensive fish. If I saw someone in a nun costume on Halloween, I would assume that they were trying to poke fun at Catholicism or mocking nuns/virginity. Even if the nun was not pregnant or sexy, I would still think that it was a joke. In the same vein, dressing as a bloody Jesus on the cross for Halloween vs. outfitted for a religious pageant or play is offensive to Christians.

        Maybe Ireland was too young to remember the Victoria’s Secret model walking the runway of its annual TV fashion show wearing a leopard print bikini, large turquoise jewelry, and a full, feathered American Indian headdress. The barely there outfit was meant as a way to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it was a slap in American Indian’s face. Erny Zah, Navajo spokesperson, said “We have gone through the atrocities to survive and ensure our way of life continues. Any mockery, whether it’s Halloween, Victoria’s Secret—they are spitting on us. They are spitting on our culture, and it’s upsetting.”

        Bottom line, people dress up on Halloween for their own entertainment and to entertain others. No one dresses up to show reverence or respect for All Hallows Eve. The claim that dressing up as other people’s races or religions is all in good fun and not hurtful in the least is depressing. You’d have to be 12 or younger for it to seem innocent. http://easycaptures.com/fs/uploaded/804/7470441967.jpg

      • V4Real says:

        @Sloane all this is saying is that you’re one of those people who has to find fault with everything. If it’s offensive to you then fine but let the people who don’t find it offensive enjoy themselves because they know their heart and know they are not racist or trying to offend anyway. It’s people who are making a big deal over nothing that causes the problem. People should dress as their own race, now that’s offensive and I can’t believe you actually said that.

      • connie says:

        I realize you didn’t say this, but not sure how to reply to who did….what makes wearing a headdress racist?
        And, how can you infer intent from what someone is wearing? I think it’s highly illogical to see someone in said headdress then naturally assume racism. What if it was something she liked and as it’s not an everyday kind of accessory she chose to wear it on Halloween?

        But, genuinely curious how does headdress = racist?

      • Sloane W.yatt says:

        Amazingly, I actually don’t get offended at ‘everything’. I realize you say that because we disagree on this topic.

        I just feel badly when so many people think it’s OK to dress up as another race or religion for fun. For me, if it’s about choosing between caring about hurting someone or choosing enjoying myself because I know in my heart I’m not a racist & mean no offense. Choosing to enjoy yourself, regardless, is especially distressing when lots of POC, right here on this post, are telling you in no uncertain words that it DOES hurt them. http://nativeappropriations.com/2011/10/open-letter-to-the-pocahotties-and-indian-warriors-this-halloween.html

        “It’s people who are making a big deal over nothing that causes the problem. ” I just can’t understand how after hearing from so many posters, first-hand, that your choice is hurtful to another human being, you’re able to continue to celebrate with your braids, plastic tomahawk, war paint, and headdress.

        I do agree with you that “dress up as our own race” was a poor choice of words that are easily taken out of context. I should have said don’t dress up as another person’s culture, race, or religion. There, fixed it.

        V4real, this feels really crappy to type this, but maybe hearing from one more person why it’s not OK to dress up as a Native person for Halloween will change your heart. My full blooded Cherokee great grandmother was a 10 year old little girl when she was sold by her parents to be my great grandfather’s child bride. This grandfather wrote for posterity that he waited “until she was 12” to consummate the marriage, and she had her first child later that year. This awful feeling that I have in the pit of my stomach writing this is the same one that POC all over the internet have. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/10/ohio-university-students-hit-racist-halloween-costumes/

        How long must people of color make a plea to not dress up as racist characters on Halloween before you get it? People like you are so caught up in their own privilege, they can’t see how much this affects and hurts their fellow citizens, neighbors and friends. But, you know, go ahead have yourself some fun.

  8. Evilyn says:

    I honestly don’t see the problem with her costume. I plan on dressing tonight with a similar costume, and I believe myself to be far from racist. This is also a popular costume for children. If I were to dress as a German girl during Octoberfest, is that considered racist too?

    • Erinn says:

      Ugh. I can’t even get into this. If you think it can’t be offensive because you don’t consider yourself racist, and because it’s a popular choice, I doubt I’m going to change your mind anyway.

      EDITED: Go read this. Right now. http://nativeappropriations.com/2013/10/the-one-stop-for-all-your-indian-costumes-are-racist-needs.html

      • Tania says:

        MrsB, I raise your 1/4 Indigenious husband and his 100% Indigenious Grandmother to my Indigenious Grandparents and my Indigenious parents and my Indigenious self and say that it is offensive because it perpetuates a stereotype! No matter the intention. No matter if she has “part” Cherokee in her blood line. If she actually read up on the correct history and read up on her people, she hopefully would have made an educated decision instead of continuing to make it acceptable for people like you and others that are defending her to allow this to continue.

    • MrsB says:

      +1. My husband is 1/4 Choctaw Indian. His grandma is 100% and was born and raised on a reservation. Neither of them find things like this offensive.

      • tifzlan says:

        Your husband and his grandmother might not find things like this offensive, but many other people do.

      • Erinn says:

        tifzlan is right. Just because YOU or YOUR family doesn’t find it offensive, doesn’t mean it’s ok. That doesn’t automatically discredit all the people who ARE offended by it. If you’re cool with people making fun of your culture, that’s great. Don’t expect other people to think that’s ok.

      • MrsB says:

        Perhaps, but nobody in his family is offended by people dressing up in costumes. All I can go off is personal experience. If it is so offensive to so many people, perhaps the reservations should stop selling all the costume things that they do. That would be a good first step. Now, the Washington Redskins is a different story. That, they do find to be insensitive.

      • MrsB says:

        @Erinn I think that’s where you are wrong in assuming that people who dress in costume are making fun of a culture. My 5 yo son thinks it is pretty much the most amazing thing ever that he is part Indian and loves to dress up accordingly. So are we racist for letting him dress in costume? Is my husband racist of his own heritage? I think it’s quite the opposite, my husband is proud of where he came from and is proud that his son takes an interest.

      • Erinn says:

        MrsB
        It’s sweet that he’s proud of that piece of his heritage. But is he dressing in a stereotypical costume, or something that actually was worn by his specific group of native people? I can’t tell you to be offended, and I can’t tell you it’s wrong to have your kid dressing up as a native. Because it’s not some terrible thing if you’re trying to get your child to be excited over his culture. There’s a total difference between all of the ‘sexy squaw’ costumes and the costumes marketed for kids. I personally, still find that making a culture a costume is a no-no.

        Some outfits CAN honor a culture rather than appropriate it, but they’re much more rare to see. If a costume is based on stereotypes rather than an accurate portrayal of the culture, I don’t see how that’s helping anything.

      • Kahlia says:

        I’m half Choctaw, grew up in the heart of the OK Choctaw nation. It still bothers me, because I don’t see traditional tribal dress as a “costume.” For me, it all has to do with intent. You want to dress up as Sacagawea, Pocahontas or Chief Joseph because you love them as historical figures? Fine by me. You want to dress as a fancy dancer or a shawl dancer because you are a huge fan of tribal dance and you always wished you could be one? I’m ok with that, too. You want to be a “sexy native princess,” put on some facepaint and make “woo-woo” noises all night because you think it’s cute/funny? Um, hell no. And just because it’s commonplace doesn’t make it ok.

    • Kit says:

      +2

      Apparently if you’re white, it’s not possible for anyone to be “racist” towards you… nevermind that, for instance, there used to be signs hanging in front of business telling Irish people to keep the hell out and/or not bother applying for work (Johnny Rotten’s autobiography was titled after one of the signs: “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”) The slang term “paddy wagon” (police van) is clearly an anti-Irish slur as well.

      I’m Irish and the double standards drive me fricken nuts.

      • mabooski says:

        your point is what exactly? how and WHY have you made this about you?

        Girl, BYE.

      • Kit says:

        LOL

        My point is that dressing up in the traditional garb of another culture isn’t inherently racist, and no race is immune from practicing or being the victim of racism. Racism is not something that white people engage in, it’s something *people* engage in. Unfortunately.

      • mabooski says:

        CRITICAL RACE THEORY 101

        NO ONE CAN BE RACIST AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE

        RACISM IS A SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION of which is NOT present against white people. Here is some further reading for you: http://racismschool.tumblr.com/

        ‘dressing up in traditional garb of another culture isn’t inherently racist,’ YES IT IS. My culture is not a costume, especially when white people can dress up and its seen as cute/cool you don get to detach the meaning of a traditional attire and change it into a ‘costume’. (notice i said costume). When people who ACTUALLY belong to those culture wear THEIR traditional clothes people tease/abuse them for it. NO THANKS.

      • msw says:

        mabooski: I may regret wading into this because it’s OT, but since this whole post has pretty much turned into conversation about what is racist and what is not, I’m going to do it anyway.

        I do not believe racism is a phenomenon that only affects non-whites and it really gets under my skin that this belief has become so common in racism discussions. I live in a city where the vast majority is Hispanic/Latino/Tejano. I am a social worker and I’ve worked in a lot of social service avenues. I’ve witnessed plenty of racist behaviors against African Americans and Asians from both my white and my Latino/Hispanic/Tejano coworkers (ranging from a person at the food bank putting off calls to peopel with Asian names because they assume they don’t speak English or just don’t like Asian people, to treating African American SNAP/Medicaid applicants badly because “they’re just going to spend all that money they should be spending on their 10 children on ribs”). It is not just white people doing that, and that type of racism and misbehavior is going to lead to just as much disenfranchising of certain minorities regardless of who is doing it. (I am still very aware of white privilege, though, and I get white privilege in this city even though whites are by far the minority population here–it just doesn’t negate the effect of racism from other groups). Ethnic/racial minorities can absolutely discriminate against each other, making this far more than just a “white” problem.

        In addition to that, while we all generally get white privilege and are infrequently discriminated against by minorities, white people have not been immune from discrimination. “Irish need not apply.” We’ve also done a good job discriminating against Russians and Germans. Ethnocentrism absolutely does not escape white people.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        which is to say, I was in the wrong thread.

      • dena says:

        So for the people (and their children) who are 1/16th, 1/8th, or 1/4th Native American, how else do you celebrate your Native culture or heritage? Is Halloween and wearing a plastic costume the height of that celebration and/or acknowledgement?

    • Esti says:

      It’s nice that you “believe yourself to be far from racist” but that doesn’t actually make it true. Dressing up like that tonight is a racist thing to do. And no, I’m not going to spend a bunch of time explaining why or how a German costume would be different. There are approximately a million explanations out there already, including on the Julianne Hough post’s omment section, so if you don’t get it that’s because you’ve chosen to ignore what so many people have already taken the time to explain.

      Really easy rule: just don’t dress up as another race for Halloween. If you insist on doing so, then yeah, I’m going to call you racist.

    • tifzlan says:

      I would venture to say yes, because what exactly is a German girl? Again, these are all caricatures of complex cultures. Why is it so hard to be a superhero or a witch? Why do you have to risk offending people? If you’re “not racist,” you wouldn’t do it.

    • mabooski says:

      What you REALLY meant to say was:

      ‘I DONT CARE IF THI IS RACIST AND OFFENSIVE, I WANNA WEAR THE COSTUME’

      Own your racism. ACCEPT that you are a basic b*tch and carry on with life.

      And don’t bother complaining about my tone. If you INSIST on being an insensitive a-hole, then you should be addressed as such.

      • glaugh says:

        seems like you got lost on your way to tumblr

      • eliza says:

        Why resort to name calling? Don’t you think a mini tantrum kind of negates the message you are trying to convey?

        Not trying to be mean but if you are complaining, in a sense about people disrespecting others, by costume choices, name calling is also another form of disrespect.

      • mabooski says:

        @eliza

        I always find i funny when people see anger as a negation of a point. she has been told that x is offensive, and THEN states that since SHE isnt offended by x then she is going to do it ANYWAY.

        she is undeserving of any respect because she REFUSES TO SHOW OTHERS THE SAME.

        All I read was ‘I am being a racist a-hole and you have no right to treat me as such, SPEAK TO ME NICELY AND THEN I WILL IGNORE YOU SOME MORE’

      • emmie_a says:

        mabooski: Angry much? Because someone doesn’t agree with you is an ok reason to disrespect them, be rude and start calling them names??? I started reading this at the start of the thread and I thought you had some valid arguments/viewpoints – but once you make it personal and resort to name-calling just because someone doesn’t agree with you, it really makes you sound childish and lessens your influence and credibility.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I don’t see anger in mabooski’s statements, I see righteous anger. There are no punches being pulled but I don’t read that as spite, I hear declarations of greatest frustration over years and years and years of being completely shut down, shut up and shut out and I interpret mabooski’s comments as one coming from a place that is pushed and exhausted beyond the point of being able to dispense with niceties because they’ve kind of failed and it has been so long. I suppose that at some point, ‘Why don’t you get it?’ starting sliding into, ‘Why won’t you get it? Is it unwillingness? Why are people gifting themselves with the luxury of things, still?’ I understand that people are not trying to be racist but when I try to imagine what’s propelling mabooski’s statements I can definitely see stubbornness and false equivalencies that give off the whiff of mabooski’s contribution are not being heard–sometimes resolutely. Again. It’s a bracing tonic and maybe it’s not for everyone and if you’re not living in this corner of the human experience there is so much that can’t be fully understood, even with the greatest of intentions. But a lot of crap is still happening and I for one can’t believe that mabooski would be this incensed just for the sake of kicks. A person has be brought there, no? If I could put it in the boldest of terms, whether intentional or not, there is definitely a strain of, someone saying, ‘This is me and mine’ being met with, ‘Nope, zip it and gimme’. This comment won’t go over well, but I’m making it.

      • mabooski says:

        In the words of the great tashabilities

        “I hate how we always have to stare racism in the face and ‘be diplomatic’ about the shit”

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Hm. There’s a very ‘interesting’ thread pertaining to the latest episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia about black/brownface on the Onion AV Club. I’m black, so it was entertaining to see how a bunch of white men (they said it) bickered about stuff about ‘me’. But, we’re frequently (not always, of course) kicked out of our own conversations, which is a bit ‘as per usual’. And again, while I don’t think a lot of people are *trying* to be racist, but I want to blow my top when I hear crap like, ‘Get over it’, ‘Minorities are the worst racists, now, they get to say whatever they want and now we’re the victims’, ‘race baiting/card’, ‘one of my best friends is (insert minority here)’, ‘how come they get to so-and-so but I can’t so-and-so?’ And the person who invented the term ‘post-racial’ needs to be horse whipped. Where was I? Oh, sometimes a point trying to be made doesn’t need to be made.

        Apologies for the typos, I’ve recently acquired a mangled finger from dealing with a cataclysmic hangnail.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        ITA, mabooski, and Jo ‘Mama’ Besser righteous anger is righteous.

        This steadfast refusal to acknowledge or understand racist costumes and the pain they cause reminds me of a toddler’s insistence on getting their own way, no matter what.

      • mabooski says:

        EMMIE_A,

        All I read was ‘oh my gosh, shes being racist but you dont have to shout at her, tell her nicely’

        If that is your response to people responding to racism, then you are pretty pathetic. I REFUSE to be polite to people who REFUSE to stop being racist.

        ‘just because someone doesnt agree with you’ doesnt agree? You mean i have a problem with her RACIST ACTION? That isn’t a ‘disagreement’.

        i have nothing REMOTELY polite to say to anyone who believes that when dealing with racists we must be polite. NOT A DAMN THING. My tone has NOTHING to do with the validity of my point.

    • pzc says:

      I kind of agree with you. I think it’s usually considered racist when you dress as a group that has been historically marginalized, hence the issue with black face and this Native American costume. I’m German and it never occurred to me to be offended when idiots don dirndls during Oktoberfest. I suppose dressing as a German would be fine but if you dressed as a German in a concentration camp it would be offensive. Having said that, what counts as offensive is very much location-based, i.e. black face in America is offensive because of slavery but black face in other countries is seen as acceptable. It gets even more confusing when certain cultures assume everyone should be equally offended by the things that they find offensive.

    • Sabrine says:

      I don’t know why people keep saying she’s not that pretty; she’s average looking, not as beautiful as her mother. Not once has this girl ever indicated that she is or cares to be anything other than what she is. What’s the point in comparing her to other people. If you don’t want to hear about her, stop reading about her and and then whining.

      Her costume is not offensive. Tyra banks dressed up as a while girl on her show. I don’t recall any flak for that. People need to quit being so ridiculously sensitive. It makes them look petty.

      • SnarkySnarkers says:

        +1 Seriously guys. I think this is very subjective. Its like its trendy to just call people racist now when it tickles your fancy and the true meaning is actually being watered down. Instead of taking it seriously people are gonna start just rolling their eyes. Lets save the word for people who truly are deserving of it because its not helping the cause to just point at everyone and yell racist.

      • glaugh says:

        +1 I agree it is trendy. And if you look at the majority of social justice warriors, they are white, bored teenagers who don’t have jobs except to tell you what you should or should not be offended by. And they insist on being absolutely vile and abrasive about it too.

    • glaugh says:

      I dont know how to feel tbh.

      When i was living in Sydney 5 years ago there was a fancy dress theme ‘cowboys and indians’ at this popular bar a lot of my friends went to regularly. Nobody thought twice about dressing up as Pocohantus etc. I went as a cowgirl, but yeah… nowadays, that party would be photographed, put up on tumblr for people to post comments like DISGUSTING, SHITLORDS, RACIST, etc. I dont think so. Sorry.

      I actually took a 2 year college course on Native culture (I’m in Canada) and language, because it interests me. I suppose, as a white person, I’m not allowed to do that either though, right?

    • momoftwo says:

      I am with you Evilyn. I don’t see dressing up as a Native American as offensive. Basically every culture has had some history of violence and oppression. Does that mean we cannot wear the native garb of any other country that our own?

      I am Indian (from India, not Native American) and we had a long history of oppression by the English. So should I be offended if white woman wears a sari because she is being racially insensitive? Or upset at Gwen Stefani for wearing a bindi?

      And all the Indian/Pakistani 7-11 owners portrayed in movies and film?

      I think racism is a blurry line. There are some areas where the edges are more sharp and clear (for example wearing a white hood as a costume) and areas where it is much more fuzzy.

      I just watched 12 years a slave last night and I will say I am glad we fall on the side of being overly sensitive about race in this day and age!!!

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I don’t think people can appropriate something that’s been forced on them in the first place.

    • trillian says:

      Definitely yes ;-) . I am German and it’s soooo tiresome that everyone thinks we’re all Bavarians and wear Dirndl and Lederhosen. That is such a stereotype … but actually, aren’t all costumes stereotypes?

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        No.

        Mermaids, spacemen, cows, Fruit of the Loom Underwear Guys – there are SO MANY costumes that are fun and don’t hurt anyone. Dressing up as another race or as a citizen of a country not your own is NOT NICE. Why is this so hard to understand?

  9. Eve says:

    Why is she a thing again? I mean, yeah…she’s pretty for sure. But rather generic. Is she trying to be an actress?

    On topic: I hate, I truly HATE the “I’m sorry if YOU’re offended” statements. I swear it’d be better if the person didn’t apologize at all.

  10. mkyarwood says:

    Meh, this is going to be the theme of the next 20 years isn’t it? White women assimilating other cultures and ethnicities out of some kind of weird entitled ignorance.

  11. Kit says:

    I don’t need to worry about offending anyone with a costume because I haven’t dressed up for Halloween since age 12, and don’t plan on ever doing it again. F*ck that sh*t.

  12. T.fanty says:

    But the apology (hissy fit aside) is also part of the problem. Ultimately, the problem with racial/ethnic minstrelsy is that it reduces an entire group of people, with all of their individuality and infinite variety to “a culture” and/or one singular stereotype.

    She’s 18 and she’s dumb. That’s part of being young. I do cut her some slack for that. Some people really are just that stupid (*side eye Julianne Hough*) But it doesn’t mean that there can’t be a smart conversation around this topic.

    • Sloane W.yatt says:

      “But it doesn’t mean that there can’t be a smart conversation around this topic.” This is an excellent comment and very thoughtful, T. Fanty.

      You are, of course, totally right. I wish the tone of everyone shutting down this conversation with all the ‘we should have the right to dress as anyone we like and not get criticized for it either!’ will someday evolve. I take comfort that so many hateful things that were once historically A-OK are now considered horrifying and completely unacceptable.

  13. tifzlan says:

    All i can say to this is: privilege.

  14. Lila says:

    I give her a pass on this. It is in no way the same thing as a white girl going out in blackface and I say that as a Native American. I didn’t grow up on a reservation but I grew up and still am very involved in tribal activities. Blackface has a specific historical context with a blatantly offensive sentiment that makes it across the board unacceptable. Native American history has a much broader scope so determining offense IMO needs more context. A woman dressing up in a costume as an Indian for Halloween doesn’t qualify for me. If she hooker-ized or radicalized an element of Native American culture with it, my opinion might change but just dressing up in a costume? Meh.

    I feel like by blowing up over every little offense, the true power of rejecting offensive behavior is lessened. This is not the same as the group a couple of years ago who dressed up as cowboys with the girl their captured Indian sex slave. Nor is this the same as the offensive No Doubt video which portrayed the assault of an Indian woman by white men as sexy. They deserved outrage and public condemnation, not a basic Halloween costume.

    • Kword210 says:

      The sad truth is and you have perfectly exposed it, native Americans don’t count. People don’t see the ghosts of genocide, marginalization, poverty, etc. Black face-people see the ghosts of slavery. Holocaust-the ghosts of genocide. Native Americans do not evoke their ghosts. It’s our -yours and mine- to make sure people see the ghosts, even though we don’t share the geographic location of reservations, we are not better off just incredibly luckily. We are not seen but we are survivors none the less. Now I’m going to eat fry bread. Happy halloween

    • Sloane W.yatt says:

      This falls under the ‘give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile’ category. Racism is always a non-trivial concern, regardless of how you may feel where a particular instance of it falls on the spectrum of truly hurtful to horrifyingly obscene.

  15. Ani says:

    Why do Americans even still do Halloween costumes,if every costume a famous person wears,gets ripped apart and criticized as racist and inappropriate,or somehow offensive to someone,somewhere?!

    You might as well tell all the kids “Don’t dress up as a fireman/doctor/policeman/nurse/lawyer/teacher/whatever-the-hell-else-they-dress-up-as,because you have never been any of those things,and the way you’re dressing is offensive”.

    • Wif says:

      firemans/doctors/policemen etc. are not oppressed cultures. They’re vocations.

    • Kit says:

      Ah yes, all those years of oppression firemen have suffered at the hands of others. The genocide of lawyers. Police officers having their rights taken away for generations.

      Oh wait, none of those things happened. What a ridiculous attempt at an argument.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        genocide of lawyers… would that necessarily be a BAD thing?

        Seriously, this discussion is fascinating to me. I’m from Ireland originally and therefore am not as well versed in Native American/First Nations culture. I don’t think that I would even dress in the garb of another culture for Halloween… it just seems like it makes the traditions and dress of that culture trite, to use it as a costume.

  16. eliza says:

    - peeks in, turns around, exits thread-

  17. mojoman says:

    As someone on the above thread said about how white people cant wear anything without offending other cultures, I have a question: I am south east asian (tan colored skin) with almond eyes and long black hair. So if I dress up as Pocahontas, will that be considered racist as well?? I feel like America is becoming extremely PC in some ways it’s really crazy.

    • Erinn says:

      Yes. Still racist. It’s not TOO PC. Hell, I’m not even American. If you’re taking a culture and dumbing it down into a costume, it’s offensive. Now, I’m not someone who has a great knowledge of geography, but SE Asian is Thailand, and the Philippines and nations in that area, correct? Now if someone dressed up as a stereotypical, offensive Asian characature and said they were being a “Sexy Thai” or something like that, wouldn’t that offend you? Even a little bit?

      • lower-case deb says:

        i am from that vicinity or thereabouts. and i totally agree on the sensitivity and ignorance not being excuse enough, especially in the age of google and wikipedia.

        first, i’d like to delienate between costume and traditional clothing, the former meaning a caricature of…

        i don’t know about in other places, but i know in most parts of asia, a lot of the elements in traditional clothing are specific or have specific meaning. to appropriate them as cool or well hip is to disregard the long history. for instance, dressing up as geisha without first understanding what being geisha is all about, the culture and history behind this vocation ultimately does disservice to geishas, their belief system and their life’s work.

        other examples also include the wearing of attributes, for instance in the Malayan peninsula the wearer still ascribe certain meaning to certain items. there are things that only Family A can wear, there are things only women of a certain age can wear, there are things thst only men during certain times can wear. others are attributes of achievement and so there are also things that certain person who has done certain things can wear.

        acting like Thai ladyboys just because they’re fascinating without actually knowing what life really is for them, their challenges as LGBT in Thailand, ultimately diminishes them.

        i guess this applies to the “Pocahontas” or other Indian costumes. do we know what the meaning behind all those feathers, the colors worn, etc. perhaps we don’t know. but our unknowing does not mean that it means nothing to the native in question. until we are absolutely certain, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

        for instance, certain kids want to dress up as doctors because they want to cure people, they idolize their pediatrician is fine.

        being a nurse just because it’s sexy in the long run demeans the office of a nurse (i have heard complaints from my friends who work as nurses that they are seen as T&A and “why are you so ugly, how can i get better if i get an ugly nurse”, or male nurses are derided).

        if we continue to perpetuate stereotypes and excusing it now, in the long run it will be detrimental for those being caricaturized.

        if my child tells me she wants to dress like so and so, i would first ask her why, and find out the extent of her knowledge of the character. until she can respect the character and history, she’s not even going to get into seeing distance with the costume. once she knows enough, she can decide for herself whether it is still wise to dress up as that character or not.

        a poster above mentions cosplaying and i have known many cosplayers who display immense respect for both the culture of the originatingbcountry and the sub-culture of the fandom itself. that’s why they wear for instance ultra precise reproductions of the clothing items etc, knows the story inside out and cover to cover, and will be able to engage in meaningful discussions more than just “cool” or “shock and awe”.

      • mojoman says:

        OK, this is a reply to Erinn. I get your point. Now the thing is, we need to know the DIFFERENCE between culture and Identity. In cultural aspect: I am Indonesian (with Indonesian language, various ethnicities and traditional costumes) BUT in terms of IDENTITY, I am a South East Asian. Honestly, if my caucasian husband wear a traditional Indonesian costume for a halloween party (representing my culture) I wont be offended, I will be proud! Dont get me wrong, I completely agree on the context you are presenting (sexy Thai) only it is valid because it’s such a stereotype in South east asia (terms of sexual exploitation and degradation of women) therefore it is HOW you dress up vs. WHAT you dress up as. Again, this is based on a South east asian person point of view. So if I have a native American friend and support/love her culture, why cant I represent that? (of course i wont go to the extent of putting on war paint etc)

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        ‘but our unknowing does not mean that it means nothing to the native in question. until we are absolutely certain, it’s best to err on the side of caution.’

        Well put, I agree. It’s not about policing because people are mean and uptight, I just think we should take pause. But if so many people are upset, there has to be a reason.

    • aang says:

      I would say no. Pocahontas is a commonly cosplayed Disney Princess. My daughters have both worn Pocahontas, Cinderella, Snow White, AND Pincess Tiana, (the african american princess, no black face) costumes. And not just on Halloween. To pre school, to the grocery store and to the Disney parks. Dressing up is fun and I see a difference between dressing a fictional / historical character and just dressing a a generic “Indian” or “Negro” or “Chinese”. And BTW I am not white.

      • msw says:

        I think there is a world of difference between dressing up as a character and dressing up as “a Mexican” or something. But if someone is dressing up as as character of another culture there should ideally be some basic cultural sensitivity to cover the overlap (for example, NOT wearing blackface).

        My white/Jewish daughter went through a phase where I could not get her out of a Princess Tiana costume. I let her have the red wig for her Ariel costume, but i’m obviously not going to paint her face or something to make her look less white. Double standard? Sure. But since white people have double standards for minorities all the time, I’m not too pressed about it, and at least this one is for an arguably good reason.

  18. TG says:

    Why is dressing like someone else’s culture considered making fun of them. Actors dress like others all the time in their moors and it is strictly so that they and all involved in the movie can made MONEY. Why is no one protesting the movies or the theaters?

    Anyway I can’t stand Ireland because she is a famewhores and I am glad to see that others don’t like her as well. It used to be that if you weren’t in love with this chick people would jump down your throat if you made a negative comment about her. She is of the type that thinks everyone should love her and if you don’t than you are just a jealous hater. Not true at all for me. I just don’t like famewhores.

    • Wif says:

      if an actor approaches the role without researching what the character felt like, and instead donned a costume based on stereotypes and affected an accent to match, then that would be racist. Actors do a lot of work and research to assure that their performance is as authentic (culturally and emotionally) as possible. That’s the difference.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      But what’s Native American ‘culture’? Is it like ‘the black community’?

      Blithely donning the garb is lazy, obtuse and entitled, even if you don’t mean it and a lot of the time even if your minority-specific friend says it’s okay. But if you have to get permission part of you has to know that it’s about confirmation bias employed to undercut some kind of unease. To conflate ‘culture’ into a undifferentiated blob of frequently insulting tropes only to go on to take issue with people taking issue with it, then pretending that you’re the enlightened victim because minorities aren’t moving as quickly as white people tell them they should is shaky stuff. Remember ‘get over it? Why? If people aren’t ‘over it’ it’s because it’s not over and it’s not arbitrary if you keep hearing it. But when people go on to decry political correctness (which seemed to last one hot minute in 1995 and quickly reverting to water finding its asshole level again), it effectively says, ‘Your outdated need to have ownership over yourself and your own story isn’t anywhere near as important as my need to use you as my accessory for a night and play dollies with it without understanding the implications of what I’m doing–but it’s a good that that doesn’t matter because cuteness trumps restraint and I’ll returning to my oblivious privileged status in a few hours when this getup is no longer useful to satisfying my immediate wants. I get to be like you but I never have to take on the difficulties inherent of being you come November 1st. So do as I say because it’s the default because I think I know a little more about the corrosive effects of the imposition of will upon others than the people who experienced it.’

      If I’m going to speak personally, now, I don’t know what’s so noble about digging one’s heels into ignoring the wishes of those trapped underfoot in the name of’ personal freedom’.

      By the by, you don’t see year after year cavalcades of minorities acting out stereotypes of ‘white culture’ (NOT in the Glenn Beck sense), being played out in the media every year.

      • Sloane W.yatt says:

        FANTASTIC COMMENT!! Brava, Jo ‘Mama’ Besser!

        *clapping furiously*

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Can you tell that I have a mangled finger? Even more typos than usual. And yet, I managed to have a very productive day in Real Life World. I’m glad someone’s not angry with me, I was effectively told that my statements bear a resemblance to those found in fascist rhetoric, so look out Ethiopia, I’m coming fer ya and it’s going to be a Geldof-free zone.

        Wait, no I won’t.

        At least, not after I summered in Biafra.

  19. LL says:

    Here is sample of a great letter to people on not wearing Native American costumes:

    “But don’t tell me that you’re oppressed too, or don’t you dare come back and tell me your “great grandmother was a Cherokee Princess” and that somehow makes it ok. Do you live in a system that is actively taking your children away without just cause? Do you have to look at the TV on weekends and see sports teams with mascots named after racial slurs of your people? I doubt it.”

    The rest is at: http://nativeappropriations.com/2011/10/open-letter-to-the-pocahotties-and-indian-warriors-this-halloween.html

  20. OriginallyBlue says:

    Lol. I love when people tell others what they are allowed to be offended about.
    Is she even Cherokee tho? I read about this on another site and her mother’s Native ancestry apparently questionable. Also dressing up as Native is bad enough, but dressing up as a racist representation of a Native person is ridiculous.

  21. lorelei says:

    Seriously, using a costume from a different culture than yours is offensive???? I would think it’s actually a sign you are interested and like that culture.
    Really, I think this going a little bit too far.

    I’ve read different articles on discrimination and how dressing up is offensive because of it, but honestly isn’t it discrimination to be told you can not dress as you wish just because you’re not black or native or asian or romanian or whatever?
    Who gives you the right to say only certain people are allowed to look a certain way or do a certain thing?

  22. Lucy Goosey says:

    I am one fourth Native American and do not find this offensive. However, I can tell you what I DO find offensive: My dad is half Native American but did not know his biological father. He was adopted as a toddler by his white stepfather and was raised by his and my grandmother’s side of the family. Sadly, we did not get the opportunity to actually know our NA relatives.

    I get really offended when I hear someone of NA ancestry being told they are not “real” because they were not raised in the fashion or by the people that others feel they should be. And the sad thing is so many people start off with a good point and good intentions and then ruin it by saying something like that. It is not anyone else’s place to tell another person what his or her ethnicity should be or whether they have a “right” to celebrate it or identify with it.

    • Lila says:

      This. I grew up in a town with strong tribal ties and I have Indian blood myself, but if I go out of my state and mark ‘Native American’ on any kind of application or volunteer it when asked about my history, I get side-eyed because I don’t look noticeably Indian. Like the color of my eyes and skin changes my heritage or the blood I am proud of. I am equally Irish but I mark ‘Native American’ because that is where my heritage is, that is where my family ties are. That is my choice as the culture I feel closest to.

      My tribe is also one of the wealthiest and most self-sufficient. So reading statements about how someone is not qualified to judge the offensiveness of something related to Indian culture because they never went through related hardships offends me. There is so much more to heritage than the negatives and the newspaper headlines. Knowing so many positives in my life from it makes it even more important to me to protect my heritage and stand up for it. That also means I understand a lot more about Indian history, negative and positive than the normal person. Above I argued that this was not offensive to me and while I am certainly not the definitive opinion on the issue I feel more than qualified to have it. Whether she has ever experienced anything related to her Cherokee heritage or not, if Ireland embraces that part of her history than so is she IMO. It is more offensive to judge a person’s merit to represent by the degree that they fit outside conceptions of what an Indian is.

    • Miska says:

      I totally agree with what you’re saying about people determining who is a “real Indian.” However, there is huge privilege involved in looking white. Unlike my cousins and aunts and uncles, I don’t get called ‘squaw’ or ‘drunken Indian’ when I go out for one drink at a bar. I don’t face job discrimination, or the constant surveillance of social services and the police. I think that people who identify strongly with their Indigenous/Native American heritage but pass as white have a responsibility to recognize what that privilege entails. And that responsibility to me means that you don’t throw around the, “but I’m part Cherokee” excuse to do whatever you want, regardless of the fact that many people will be offended.

  23. SamiHami says:

    People go out of their way to take offense at things anymore. Not everything in the world is racist. We’ve gone from trying to be reasonable and culturally sensitive to witch-hunting (oops! Hope I don’t offend any witches out there!) and an insistence on taking offense at anything and everything whether there is ill intent or not!

    If people want to take offense at something, how about the case of baby Veronica? She is less than 2% native American, and is half Mexican….but the media kept referring to her as a Cherokee child and that entire case hinged on her as being Cherokee. Isn’t that racist? I mean, if you are going to label her a anything, shouldn’t it have been as a Mexican child? Heck, would it be offensive if that little girl dressed as a native American for Halloween?

    I only use that example to point out how people pick and choose what is offensive and what isn’t. So if she’s a “Cherokee” child with less than 2% Cherokee blood, how can we judge this model if she has a millionth of a drop of native American blood in her?

    All this political correctness is tiresome. Real, true racism is abhorrent and shouldn’t be tolerated. I don’t think this meets that standard, though–not by about a million miles.

    ETA: I also think people forget that they don’t have an inherent right to never be offended by anything. Sometimes you just have to put on your grown up panties and deal with it.

    • Summer says:

      +1 nicely put. No one has the right not to be offended.

      • msw says:

        Of course people don’t have the right to be sheltered from anything they find offensive. But that doesn’t mean the people who are offended have to shut up about it. Freedom of speech protects BOTH sides. Comments like this just shut down any kind of conversation where people may learn a thing or two if they stop being defensive about their white privilege.

        I say this as a white person, by the way, without a lot of intersectionality. As far as I’m concerned, that means I need to be even more cognizant of the concerns of others and actually listen to them when they talk. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they say and I’m certainly not always convinced that everything is racist/sexist/homophobic/etc., but I am damn sure going to LISTEN and consider instead of automatically shutting it down.

  24. Summer says:

    This sort of stuff does my head in. Its a Halloween costume for the love of God! If she’d dressed up as white trailer trash would that have been ok? Because its ok to mock poor people right, as long as they’re white?

    Mabooski – suggest you learn to tolerate dissenting opinions without resorting to aggressive replies. I get it, you pride yourself on detecting the slightest hint of racism/white privilege etc etc and alerting us all to it. Anyone who disagrees with you is a b*tch and a a-hole. Bravo.

    But I get it – although she’s a teenager who wore a costume she clearly felt honoured her Native American ancestry and didnt set out to offend anyone, by virtue of being born white she’s really an inherently privileged racist.

  25. booboobird says:

    i wonder if Heidi Klum also had to issue apology for this outfit (too lazy to google people’s reaction)
    http://onthefourthfloor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Heidi-blue.jpg
    because i find it offensive as well. any racial/ cultural/ religious outfit should stay home. also i want to ban all those rubber face masks. anything from jolly old santa face to monstrously ugly vampires/skeletons. and decorations in the form of severed limbs.ugh.

  26. Luna says:

    Americans are too sensitive. About every single thing

  27. talia says:

    well… why are you all still celebrating halloween?!? Isn’t it offensive to the celts since it has its roots in one of their main religious festivals (samhain)…?!?

  28. Audrey says:

    I honestly don’t see why her costume is a big deal. Or the blackface one. It’s just dress up with no racist message. People are taking halloween costumes too seriously

  29. Gretchen says:

    And just like that, she’s gone from mostly harmless in my book, to total idiot. I get that these mistakes are common, and hell knows I’ve made plenty of my own. The point is, when you get called out, you apologise SINCERELY and do not make the same mistake again.

    People who are saying how they don’t get why this is offensive, or that it is no big deal, high thee to the Native Appropriations blog for some 101.

  30. Val says:

    Wow…why is everyone soooooo sensitive about Halloween costumes! Please its the one day people get to dress up and have fun. Little kids have been dressing up as cowboys and indians for a very loooong time. Now its offensive?!?! I think some people should dial down their sensitivity switch. Why not stop dressing as princesses which might be offensive to real princesses or stop dressing up as Cleopatra which could be offensive to Egyptians or dont dress up as a witch which could be offensive to the Pagan/ wicken religion etc etc etc. The list is interminable.

    • Tania says:

      Wrong, Val. It was offensive then just as it is now. The difference is techonology. Even 10 years ago I wouldn’t see someone in New York dressed as a stereotype of a race. What’s offensive is the inacurracy of it, and what that represents. It represents a lack of knowledge of Indigenious People. It represents a lack of respect.

      • Val says:

        Wrong, Tania…. Halloween in not about politics or oppresion. Its about one day a year where you can dress up and have fun!! FUN being the operative word here. As I said before, people are taking this wayyyyyy toooo seriously. I dressed my daughter up as a Geisha this year ( we are hispanic) because we loved the costume. This does not make us racist towards the Japanese. On the contrary, its a lovely costume and my daughter had FUN wearing it!

  31. Sunny says:

    When i was younger i dressed as Disney´s Pocahontas (not the real Pocahontas). She was my favourite Disney Princess. Beautiful, graceful, strong, smart and she loves animals. No need for a Prince to save her. Most people use this one day in year to be someone else and to dress like a character they really love. A homage and nothing more.

  32. V says:

    Guess what? “Cowboys and Indians” costumes for kids? Those were considered offensive. Yeah, when you were a kid. People have been complaining about it for decades. They’ve complained about people wearing saris, they’ve complained about people wearing headdresses, they’ve complained about Gwen Stefani, they’ve complained about Heidi Klum, they’ve complained about Johnny Depp, the offended have been complaining…most people just refused to listen. Technology is simply allowing more people to be heard. This isn’t a sudden surge of PC or sensitivity, but the fact that so many people think that it is does show extreme ignorance and simply proves the point of those who’ve been offended: you don’t care and you’re not paying attention to things unless you perceive them to be going against YOUR rights (I have the right to wear whatever costume I want! You can’t tell me how to dress!) Here’s a news flash: good people care about how their actions/words effect and affect others…if you don’t care, you’re not a good person. Say what you want and do what you want, but if someone is hurt by it, you’ve still hurt them whether you did so with intent or not. Admit you messed up (like a civilized human being) or turn it into how unfair it is to YOU (like the self-centered person such an action shows you to be).

    Oh, and this isn’t an “American” thing either…although which “American” are you trying to group together? North Americans, South American or Central American? Nothing like talking about judging entire groups of people by judging entire groups of people.

  33. wonderwoman21 says:

    To me the whole Native American costume thing reeks of the implications of Natives as an ‘invisible’ people who “dont really exist anymore”. How is a dumb Halloween costume that is based of ignorant stereptypes “honoring” your ancestors? If you want to honor them then educate yourself, help others, make something of yourself.

    This costume represents a small part of the consequences of a genocide of an entire continent of people, a very small part but still a part. It says ignorance and privilege all over it; the privilege to take the costume off and resume your life as the majority. People who live as recognizably Native American ARE STILL RACIALLY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN 2013. I know this because my step father is Apache and has been discriminated against because he is what they (racists) recognize as being “Indian” (dark skin, long braided black hair). He can’t take his “costume” off and go home to his rich celebrity parents’ mansion ala Ireland Baldwin.

    But when you live a life of privilege I suppose it’s too hard to be asked to see someone else’s point of view, even when they reference the systematic genocide of an entire continent of people as their reason that your costume makes them uncomfortable. IT’S JUST SOOO IMPORTANT THAT YOU GET TO WEAR WHATEVER COSTUME YOU WANT, BECAUSE YOU KNOW….HALLOWEEN, DUH! AND NOBODY TELLS YOU WHAT TO DO! Besides, if you don’t go as a racial caricature what will you go as??

    Ireland is an ignorant idiot. Everyone is Cherokee when it fits their ticket.

  34. Martha says:

    The state of being “politically correct” has rendered all occasions vapid. What’s the point of dressing up…as anything? You just can’t win. I’m fully behind Ireland’s retort.

    • msw says:

      Seriously? First of all, commercialism has rendered all occasions vapid long before political correctness got here, and second, I can think of about a thousand costumes that don’t offend people. All some people are saying is NOT to make a caricature of deeply meaningful parts of their culture.

      FFS. It’s not that hard.

  35. Holden says:

    I’m offended by how bad the costume is.

  36. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    Bury my heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown is an excellent read.

  37. Asiyah says:

    I once contemplated dressing up as Pocahontas one Halloween because I resemble her. I found the costume offensive, though, especially because it was a bit too revealing for me. Furthermore, I can’t explain it, it just didn’t feel right. Now that I read some of your comments, I can say that it didn’t feel right for me because deep down inside and in my subconscious I knew it was offensive. Look, just because you don’t see it as offensive doesn’t mean you have to put down those who think differently than you. If I’m contemplating a costume you find offensive, I won’t wear it. Period. It’s just Halloween. I don’t have an inherent need to wear that particular costume. It’s not a must that I dress up like that. For those people saying, “it’s just a costume!” Exactly. You can change it. You don’t have to wear it. Why must the offended party get over it? Why can’t you get over that costume? I don’t mean to be argumentative or aggressive or put anyone down, it’s just that we’re so quick to say, “get over it!” to those who are hurt and I don’t find that fair.

  38. msw says:

    Gee. Maybe people are seeing racism everywhere because people are still doing racist things everywhere, and maybe you don’t notice because it doesn’t directly effect you. I love how much the discussion gets shut down by the PC Police who truly don’t recognize privilege when it’s right in their face.

    Oh yeah, I’m white, so I listen when others bring up racism. Maybe they see something I don’t. I may not agree, but I will at least listen, because my privilege obligates me to. My privilege means I don’t have to hear it unless I want to.

  39. Vera says:

    I can’t get my kickers in a twist about either Ireland or Julianne’s outfit. Dressing up as someone of another race isn’t necessarily racist, and I feel that neither was being that way. All of the attention that this has gotten just goes to show how conflicted we still remain about racial issues, talking at rather than to each other….

  40. Maggie says:

    I think some of these people getting so riled over a Halloween costume are just using it as an excuse to vent. They’re simply angry at the world because their life basically sucks.

    • Tania says:

      As “one of these people” I have to say my life is pretty damn good. I’m not angry at the world. I think the world can be a fabulous place. The problem is when idiots do something stupid that is so misguided and culturally inappropriate they bring other idiots out into the world to defend them and then I’m wasting my precious life basically saying that stupid people suck.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I don’t think people have to hate the world to take exception to things and if people want to vent or are on the anti-ventilation teach, the house won’t blow in. More important things have happened. People have blind spots and sore spots and I like the idea of acknowledging both and working out those ideas. I’m not angry at the people who disagree with me but my blind spot is that I truly don’t understand their perspective. To me, it’s a case of hearing, ‘This hurts, please refrain’ and my response is, ‘Okay, no biggie’. That’s what threads are for, to at least see what other people are thinking. I haven’t been convinced out of my position and I’m pretty sure I won’t, I imagine the case is the same for those in disagreement but it’s interesting to watch. I don’t think it’s a case of ‘every little thing’, though, I think it’s the same thing that keeps popping up with a different face but it’s effectively the same conversation. Yes, I disagree with you on this one, but it’s not even close to the end of the world.

  41. Cait says:

    I have auburn hair and green eyes and olive (albeit currently very pale) skin. I am also multiracial. My mother was Cherokee and Chickasaw (with a little West African mixed in for good measure).

    I didn’t grow up affiliated with that heritage despite having a full-blooded Cherokee grandfather. Because of that, I would never presume to speak on behalf of either tribal culture. To do so is kind of reverse whitesplaining, don’t you think?

  42. Jenna says:

    I guarantee that there were thousands of girls dressed as “slutty Indians” for Halloween. If she didn’t do anything to disrespectful while in the costume whats the big deal? People are far too sensitive these days.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      What’s the big deal about just wearing something else? I don’t get why people feel as though they can always do whatever suits their fancies, because they feel like it, so all else be damned.

      • Jenna says:

        Someone will always find something to be offended by. It’s not like she ran around town with her face painted red shouting how. Why should she have chosen something else? If it is for sale in a Halloween store than many people are buying it. Why single out one person? Why do you care?

      • Payton says:

        “I don’t get why people feel as though they can always do whatever suits their fancies, because they feel like it, so all else be damned.”

        …said every fascist who has ever risen to power in this world.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        The old fascist canard. It’s not hurting me to not wear the ‘costume’ and I’m so frequently told that wearing the ‘costume’ is hurtful to a lot of people, so yes, for that reason I’d respect that request to not wear it and move on to something else. I’m not advocating some kind of self-mortification, but I don’t believe we can *always* do whatever we want, but when wasn’t that the case? A person can be an individualist while thinking of the sore spots of others. I know how I feel when I see someone mocking me with black/brownface and then inevitably getting railed for feeling that way, so I’m not interested in insisting upon doing something that makes others feel that way because I understand it and it’s not a great feeling.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        But by that logic, couldn’t it be wondered why you don’t care? But I know that’s not the case and I know that no one’s thinking, ‘It’s Hallowe’en, who can I piss off?’ At least in this case and people see nuance. Everyone here cares, they wouldn’t be posting if they didn’t care. I care because I’m told it hurts and I care because I’ve known that hurt. She’s not hateful but she doesn’t get it.

  43. Tania says:

    I prepared a long comment about how offended I am about the defense of her but I decided it’s not worth it. If you feel that this was okay for her to do, then I can do nothing but feel sorry for your ignorance.

    I’m sorry if you’re offended that I find you dumb if you think this was okay for her to do.

    And I’m sorry that she’s an idiot.

  44. Cecilia says:

    I am far more amazed at the people who are passing judgment…

  45. Leila in Wunderland says:

    Cultural appropriation is a subject that I have mixed opinions about. I only consider it to be offensive if someone does it in a derogatory way, or if someone does it in an ignorant way that gets things wrong about the culture (like Selena Gomez did), and it’s offensive when people paint their face the ‘color’ of another race. But as long as the person doesn’t do it in any of those ways, I’m not offended by it- even if it’s one of my own cultures. But I realize that this is just my opinion, and just because I don’t find it offensive doesn’t mean that other people shouldn’t. Even though I don’t see it as an act of racism, I can see some of the reasons why other people are offended by it: someone is picking and choosing what parts of the culture that they like, without knowing or learning anything about the culture or its’ struggles. I see how that could bother someone.

    On the one hand, I feel that we should all be able to share different aspects of other cultures. On the other hand, I feel that many aren’t educated enough about other cultures and racism. I first learned about cultural appropriation this year on tumblr, and my instant reaction to this was, “Wow. How racist to tell people what they can and can’t wear, how they can and can’t sing and dance, and what tattoos and hairstyles they can and can’t have based on the color of their skin! This is 2013, how ignorant can people be?” So I can understand Ireland’s reaction to this. It doesn’t make the person a brat, it’s a natural response- obviously this is her first time hearing about cultural appropriation, and to someone who’s never heard about it before, it does sound like a bunch of people nitpicking and being racist and ignorant themselves. You have to read more about it to learn that that’s not what it is, and to understand the issue.

    I don’t think the arts- music and dance- should be limited based on race. I don’t think hairstyles should be off limits either. But painting your face to ‘look like another race’ is definitely not ok, and when it comes to clothing, I think we should be very careful. Maybe we shouldn’t do it at all, unless we’re actually assimilating into the culture- that’s different from wearing someone’s culture as a costume. Usually when someone finds something racist or culturally insensitive, or homophobic or sexist, there’s some validity to it. Some may complain that that’s being too ‘politically correct’, but really, what’s so bad about trying to be respectful? Is it really such a burden?

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I guess it comes down to the way you celebrate. Sharing and appreciating is great and fun and people should do it. We don’t need to lock ourselves into ‘No So-And-Sos Allowed’ and I don’t want to, I just try to stay mindful because I’m not in it for a fight. Maybe the ultimate issue is general granted permission. So if there’s some way to celebrate and appreciate that I don’t keep hearing is really hurtful the feelings of the full-timers within a certain tradition, have at it. I’m also not in it for a thread war.

      The point I’ve been trying to make is that I love sushi but not the Harajuku Girls.

  46. dtx says:

    I’m willing to bet most of these people who are on here screaming “Ireland is racist for this but Johnny Depp is not and you are so stupid that I can’t waste my time explaining this to your non-PC, simple @ss, blah blah blah!” are likely the same fools who have no problem wearing 4-Leaf clovers, leprechaun hats, green, etc while getting sloshed on St. Patrick’s Day AND downing margaritas with their girlfriends while taking pics with sombreros/mariachi hats while puckering their lips for their stupid Instagrams. Happy Cinco de May-oh!

    And yes the Irish & Mexicans have been oppressed in this country, too but do you see any of us raising up a big stink when you want to participate in our holidays, traditions, stereo-typical costumes, etc? No, you don’t. You know why? Because there actually is a DIFFERENCE between dressing up for a fun, happy occasion and openly mocking people with stupid sh*t like dressing up as Trayvon Martin/Nazi Soldier/KKK etc. because that is MEANT to be offensive. A young girl in a pocahontas-like costume is not.

    But if you’re not racist and all like HER, please feel free to exclude yourself from my holidays FOREVER, Thanks.

    Pot to Kettle: “What the F*@k did you call me?”

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I don’t think people are saying she’s racist or mean-spirited or barred from appreciating, I think they got cheesed when a specific issue was raised and explained and they didn’t care for her response to it. And that set off a powder keg. I kind of think that’s all that’s all that’s going on here.

      • connie says:

        But jo ‘mama’ people are saying she is racist…they are calling out dressing up in the traditional garb of other cultures racist and never ok

      • Sloane W.yatt says:

        You are correct, Connie; I am saying Ireland is racist. It seems that racism IS something that white people care about. As in, they know it’s bad to be called racist and will devote lots of time and energy into explaining why they are not. Just the label though, no f*cks given for actual racism. – http://yoisthisracist.com/post/57271647368/anonymous-asked-obviously-its-racist-to-dress

      • SnarkySnarkers says:

        “It seems that racism IS something that white people care about. As in, they know it’s bad to be called racist and will devote lots of time and energy into explaining why they are not. Just the label though, no f*cks given for actual racism. ”

        Yes @Sloane W.yatt ALL white people feel this exact way. Way to generalize. Also please explain to me the proper definition of “actual racism”. Here I was thinking it was disliking another person for their race or culture but I guess it can be much much much broader than that. Didn’t Kim K dress as Pocohantas one year? I don’t remember it getting so much flack? It seems white girls get the racist card pulled on them for breathing anymore.

      • Sloane W.yatt says:

        Nah, SnarkySnarkers, I don’t mean all white people. I mean the Native Person regalia wearing white racists who don’t believe they are being racist for dressing up in Injun getup, who don’t like being labeled racists because of their costume choice, yet who aren’t much bothered by racism against POC because it doesn’t affect them’. These whites don’t have any f*cks to give about racism because they feel it’s something ‘out there,’ a problem for others, “but not me, or anyone I know.” They don’t care about the “actual racism” of entrenched Native American stereotyping, of deep economic inequities, and the horrors of the institutionalized racism Native persons suffer to this day.

        Yes, to this day, Native Americans are the most harshly affected by institutionalized racism. The World Watch Institute notes that 317 reservations are threatened by environmental hazards. In spite of formal equality being legally granted, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders remain among the most economically disadvantaged groups in the country, and suffer from high levels of alcoholism and suicide. Native American women are also at a high risk of sexual and physical abuse, recorded at three and a half times higher than the national average. Seventy percent of the violence experienced by Native American women is from non-Native American men. White dominated Federal apathy and lethargy in prosecution of crimes against Native Americans is keeping the cycle of violence normative and commonplace. The grinding poverty of the reservation is like that of third world country.

        Then there’s the countless everyday racist acts like teaching your children to sing the pure racism of “Ten Little Indians”. This song is an Indian annihilation song that the Pioneers sang to their children to sooth their fears. In the song, they count up, and then they count backwards until there is only one Indian boy left. Today, most people do not even know about the hidden message of eradicating the Indian people in the song. Crazily, this song that still plants seeds of racism and stereotyping in the minds of our children is being taught in our schools today by white educators.

        Then, there are the sports teams with derogatory names like the Redskins; the name refers to the scalping practice of the English who were paid for every Indian scalp collected. There are mascots like the Cleveland Indian’s Chief Wahoo, which has been described by Indian activists as a grinning idiot resembling the early Black Sambo.

        Another offensive marketing scheme is using the name of Native American’s spiritual leaders to sell white corporate Americas’ alcohol products. There is Big Foot wine and Crazy Horse Malt liquor. Crazy Horse was a Lakota spiritual leader who was opposed to alcohol consumption, yet Hornell Brewing Co. uses name to sell malt Liquor. Yet, we don’t see Caucasian countertypes like Mother Teresa Tequila or Martin Luther Malt Liquor. This is because white society will not tolerate such use, and they’d stop it by boycotting or other methods of public outrage. So I ask, why does society tolerate the use of Native Americans to sell alcohol? It’s because racist whites don’t give a f*ck about offensively marketing Native American people and culture?

        Native American activists do become quite upset when the First Amendment’s free speech doctrine is used as a shield to protect the interests of the corporations that use stereotypes that are racist towards Native American Indians. Such was the case in Hornell Brewing v. Brady, 819 F.Supp. 1227 (E.D.N.Y. 1993), in which Hornell Brewing challenged the constitutionality of the Congressional Act Pub. L. 102-393, Sec 633, which banned “the use of the name Crazy Horse on any distilled spirit, wine, or malt liquor beverage product.” In essence, the court found that Hornell’s first Amendment right was violated by the act. However, when Native American people have to bear more of the weight and burden then others, for the furtherance of free speech, then it is unfair, and furthers racism towards Native American Indians.

        If children are taught at an early age that it is OK to mock and stereotype Indians, when they become in the position to change policy concerning the offensive use of Native American Indians and culture, is it any wonder why they don’t see such use as racism and stereotyping? What I propose is that we look for and talk about the seeds of racism in our dominant white society, and then we erradicate these racist acts and vile symbols. We need to replace the seeds of racism with seeds of morality, compassion, love, and mutual respect, which is found in our traditional teachings, so that our children and our future may blossom.

    • “…are likely the same fools who have no problem wearing 4-Leaf clovers, leprechaun hats, green, etc while getting sloshed on St. Patrick’s Day”

      I don’t think it’s the same thing at all. Leprechauns are not an oppressed people. Sure, people are always trying to take their pots of gold and lucky charms and whatever, but basically, they have magic to protect themselves from leprechaun cultural appropriation.

      St Patrick’s Day technically is not an “Irish” holiday, per se. It’s a Catholic feast for a Saint. I grew up in Ireland (Westport, County Mayo) and find St Patrick’s Day to be celebrated on a much grander lever here in the States. And no, I’m not offended by people celebrating a holiday by wearing green and shamrocks.

  47. magpie says:

    Ireland’s costume sucked (because it’s stupid looking) and her “apology” sucked even harder.

    But what if it was someone who was really interested in Native American culture and made a costume that was very acurate? I read a comment in another forum anout a kid who was really interested in a specific tribe and wanted to wear a costume he had researched. His mom wouldn’t let him not because she felt it was wrong, but because she was afriad how people would precieve it. That’s sad.

    Little white girls dress up as Pocahontas, Mulan and Jasmine. Asian girls dress up as Sleeping beauty. I hear the “character vs. culture” argument and don’t really agree. I’ve seen many white friends wear Kimonos on Halloween because they think they’re beautiful and love Japanese culture.

    Also, is it OK to dress up as a redneck or hillbilly? White people can be oppressed too.

    Such a tough issue. I think people need to be sensitive, but I think we’ve also gotten a little too PC. Oddly, in general I see that the people who are the most offended are also those I consider the most privileged.

    Just my two cents.

    • msw says:

      How respectfully something is done has a lot to do with i, IMO. I’ve seen “Mexican” costumes consisting of a sombrero, a zig zag pancho, a giant handlebar mustache and a taco. Not exactly respectful. But if someone wants to wear an authentic looking mariachi ensemble, I don’t see that as a the same thing.

      I can tell you I wouldn’t be caught dead in the first, but as a trumpet player who actually appreciates mariachi music in Mexican culture, I would wear the second. i’m pretty sure if I went around my neighborhood in the first one, I would get beat up, but people would probably think the second was a cool homage to the local culture–as long as it is done respectfully.

  48. Kate says:

    I’m not offended by the costume but there’s something about her that I find so annoying and I don’t know why :) This was obviously just something she did for attention, being outraged about her insensitivity is silly because it’s just giving her what she wants

  49. Dommy Dearest says:

    Oh dear god. Alright then, if someone dresses up as Cinderella I’ll be offended as she’s white and I’m white. See how much sense this makes? I was Pocahontas twice when I was a kid for Halloween and no one made a big deal about it. What about Depp’s role in the Lone Ranger and RDJ in Tropic Thunder? Does this have to do with a double standard of males and females, hmm?

    • Nono says:

      It’s so stupid. There are so many more important racial issues to worry about, if that’s one’s concern, and yet all most people seem to be interested in is taking shots at people’s Hallowe’en costumes. This is just about as insipid as it gets, from a social justice perspective.

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        I can’t agree more. I don’t know about you but when I was growing up Halloween was the only day we could dress up as whatever we liked and then go to festivals or hitting up houses for candy. I can bet that there are tons of normal people walking around with feathers in their hair and greasepaint on their face and not a single person speaks of how the costume is racist. As well as there being actual costumes that are made to be offensive but most will see it as funny.

        Why not look at Barneys in NY instead? Two people of color were stopped after purchasing an expensive item because the workers told security they thought their cards were fraudulent just based on their race. And people are getting upset by a girl’s choice in Halloween costume. And people wonder why racism is so large even today. Focus on crap that has no meaning but dismiss actual counts of racism so that the ones making the offense get to continue doing what they do in terms of hatred.

    • lena80 says:

      Yes dressing yourself as a FICTIONAL character is TOTALLY the same as appropriating a culture. SMH.

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        Ou girl, you sure do enjoy trolling my posts. Why don’t you further scroll up and read the rest. If I wanted to dress my kid up as Depp’s Lone Ranger character I’d be racist right? If that’s the logic you’re going by. You can’t tell me I’m wrong, I have the same skin color as what I’m identifying with. See what that sounds like? Stupid and ignorant. Now, please continue to ignore the points made and continue to feed into racism- it’s what so many do. Or are you coming at me due to friction about what I’m vocal about based on skin color?

  50. Kassie says:

    I think its incredibly arrogant if certain Native Americans insist that nobody else can wear warpaint on their face. They are also displaying their own cultural ignorance. Many primitive societies all over the world have worn war paint.

  51. GIRLFACE says:

    I think the fact that this 18 year old probably has a shoe collection amounting to a monetary value greater than the bottom 25% of the U.S. population’s annual household income is more offensive than war paint on her face.

    • another nina says:

      Jeez, the topic is about Halloween and appropriatness of the stereotypical NA costume. You don’t know even know whether this girl has many shoes or not but you hate her just in case?! Talk about stereotypes…

      • GIRLFACE says:

        Um, the “shoes” were a humorous albeit factual speculation, that this teenage girl’s wardrobe is probably worth a greater amount of money than the average annual income of a household in the bottom 25%? Does that confuse you? If you don’t see why that’s offensive, I would encourage you to get a college education. As everyone else has said, war paint is something that native peoples all over the world have worn for centuries. The fashion industry has exploited the shit out of NA culture in the last 10 years or so. I think income disparity is more offensive. THE most offensive thing there is. And guess what? The top issues most NA tribes face are poverty, unemployment and substance abuse so there you go.

  52. trillian says:

    Ugh, I just saw a pic of Matt Lauer dressed up as that Baywatch babe. How is THAT not offensive? Dressing up as a gender that is not his own (and women are discriminated against to this day) plus stereotyping it in an overly sexual way (bathing suit, massive tits)?
    Actually, I don’t care enough to be offended, but isn’t that essentially the same thing here?

  53. Lisa says:

    I have the option to buy a buttplug and 40 packages of condoms when I go out, does that mean I have to do it?

  54. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Oh, Suzanne Sugarbaker, where art thou?

  55. St says:

    Oh God, another racist accusations for Halloween costume? Is there some list with the names of every thing/person/character that americans can’t dress as? This is ridiculous. Poor celebrities. Can Americans dress as French or German or Russian people? Like in their national costumes? Or this will be racist too?

    Media really need to stop. Tolerance is one thing, but this is witch hunt. Like they were calling people witches for any small reason or suspicion they would come up with and then burn then on fire.

    These days they will find or create any small suspicion and then publicly call celebrities racists and bully them like they are some monsters.

    • YvetteW says:

      A witch hunt? No one accused her of anything. Ireland put the costume on and took pictures.

      If it’s offensive to some, then it’s offensive to them. It’s not bullying because you don’t agree. She could put a jack@ss on her head and I wouldn’t care. However, I have the right to not buy whatever she is selling (and she will be selling something soon). And btw, what she has on is not a national costume.

    • lena80 says:

      The fact you don’t know difference between Ethnic Groups (French and German) Race (Native American) and Nationality (American) warrants no answer to the question you posed, but I WILL give you one because it’s quite simple…Native Americans are a race of people virtually wiped out. Some of the Native American tribes wore war paint into huge battles against White men who stole from them, raped their women, appropriated their land and culture, etc ..and were SLAUGHTERED in the millions (genocide) for PROTECTING what was being TAKEN from them….SO for little Ms aww shucks I MIGHT have 1/32 Cherokee Ancestry to post of a pic of herself sporting flucking WAR PAINT on flucking HALLOWEEN to “honor” a culture that she MIGHT not even be a part of IS offensive to a lot of Native Americans and other people with common freaking sense! You will NEVER see a 100% born and RAISED Native American dress up in their cultural make up/clothes to be an “Injun” for HALLOWEEN (unless their is some deep self hatred going on)…and FYI she was “honoring” a freakin racist CARICATURE of a Native American from that Disney movie.

  56. Lincolnmama says:

    His handwriting is weird.

  57. GT says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments here, what is the big deal?? Things are becoming way over the top in terms of everyone being afraid to offend someone whether it’s because of their religion or culture. I remember being young and dressing up as Pocahontas, big deal. I thought she was pretty and my costume reflected that, it wasn’t meant to be a put down and I don’t see anything wrong with Ireland’s either. This just reminds me of groups wanting to ban “Merry Christmas” because it has “christ” in it and instead use “Happy Holidays”, screw that. What is this world coming to????

  58. Angela says:

    I never thought a Celebitchy thread would be a place where I could further my education about privilege and cultural appropriation and sensitivity to oppressed people. Having read the comments of those who don’t get what the big deal is and those who take the time to explain it, again and again, in very simple ways, it becomes pretty clear to me which way I want to be.

    I’m too old to be clueless as I have been.

  59. Caroline says:

    WTH? It’s Halloween people, COME ON. Some people are just wayyy to sensitive, and I am a minority!

  60. Megan says:

    EVERY culture/race faces racism, some more than others (obviously) but things like this are tricky. I’m Mexican, and have seen several people dressed up in sombreros and shaking maracas with brownface. I’m not sure if it’s only unacceptable to do if it’s blackface, but no one said anything. I was very offended. It’s was obviously done with the intention to make fun of my culture.

    To me, if you dress up as another race/culture, it can be acceptable if you do it with respect. Not with the intention to make fun. My stepmother is Korean and does fan dances. My best friend always thought it was so beautiful and elegant and dressed up as a traditional Korean fan dancer Halloween a few years back, with help from my stepmother. She is white with no Korean blood. She admired the culture and there was nothing racist about.

  61. Snappyfish says:

    I find it humorous that people believe an entitled teenage during this generation of the KarTRASHian era would understand what is & isn’t offensive.

    On the other hand, I adore white roses.

  62. SamiHami says:

    People who get themselves all upset about something as inconsequential as a Halloween costume actually hurt their own cause. It’s like crying wolf. If you constantly whine about things that truly don’t matter, then it clouds your credibility when something truly racist does actually happen.

  63. Ninks says:

    Why are we reading about Ireland Baldwin? Why do we care about anything she has to say or do? Why does she matter? What has she ever done that makes her interesting to read about, ever? Seriously? Who is she? The spawn on two famous people should not get this kind of attention just because she’s the spawn of two famous people.

    • Sloane W.yatt says:

      Thanks, Ninks. You raise an excellent point!

      Ireland Baldwin most likely has hired publicists to push ” cute” photos of herself to various media outlets. In turn, gossip sites use these types of stories about D & Z List ‘celebrities’ as ‘filler’.

      Tangentially to the topic you raised, NEWS OUTLETS run stories that are produced, packaged, and provided by corporate shills, and this empty headed pablum (and in many cases outright propaganda) is what passes as ‘news’ today! It looks like these ‘journalism’ purveyors are pretty successful in getting their clients publicity. *slinks away ruefully*

  64. Jaquebelle says:

    Adults: S-T-E-P away from Halloween!!! This represents the problem!!! Halloween is ultimately about wee ones getting candy and we need to return it to children. Is it too much to ask that we be decent and display some semblance of respect for those who are unlike us. Yes, over-sensitive and overly-politically correct individuals exist, but come on folks!!! The Halloween costumes I have seen posted online blatantly crossed so many boundaries and represented offensive in the extreme. One in particular depicted a dead Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. If you exist in a culture or ethnic group that has traditionally endured disrespect, this will certainly color your perspective and tolerance. I am African-American, but also a woman and as a woman, I have personally grown weary of women who use Halloween as an excuse to don the trampiest, ass-out costumes. Ultimately, it represents a choice. And there are natural consequences associated with almost any choice you make. Couple this with posting on any online social media site and the stakes are raised even higher!!! One love.

  65. j78 says:

    What I really want to know is what Bill Maher would say about this….

  66. Julianna says:

    Whoever is offended by this should probably contact the manufacturer and let them know instead of bitching about it on this site.